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What If I Don't Like a Gift From My Boyfriend?

"I Don't Like What My Boyfriend Bought Me"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

My boyfriend and I exchanged gifts today. He shopped on Christmas Eve — the receipt was in the bag — and he bought me this hideous scarf that only a 90 year old would wear. On the other hand, I kept note of the little things he'd wanted and he was super happy with what I bought him. I felt really unappreciated. It feels like the present was an after thought and meanwhile, I spent so much time and effort on him. He didn't even bother writing me a card and he knows how important that is to me. I know Christmas isn't about the gifts, but I feel like it's a true reflection of his feelings toward me. I was trying so hard to fight back my tears but I couldn't. We talked about it a little and he felt bad, which made me feel bad too. What should I do?

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amvck amvck 4 years
I understand where you come from, its not WHAT he got you its the EFFORT that you feel that he didn't put into it. I'm like you, I plan what gifts I'm going to give, save up, etc but we can't always people to be exactly like us. I think its fine that you told him that you were disappointed because he obviously wasn't even thinking of your present until the very last second and didn't even bother to make sure the receipt wasn't in the bag. He rushed and it was obvious and that can be hurtful, I don't feel like you should apologize for feeling bad about that. I do think though that you should make it clear that its not about how much money he spent, its about not feeling important or whatever you might feel. I mean he could've written you a card, made you something, written you a letter and that would be enough because it takes time and thought behind it. Don't blow this out of proportion and see how much effort he puts into other aspects of your relationship, maybe he just doesn't do well with gifts.
luckyduckyy luckyduckyy 4 years
How long have you two been dating? If it's been less than a year, I think it's typical to get a small gift. It doesn't mean that he doens't care, it's just that getting small, easy, presumably no-fail (albeit generic) gifts (i.e., scarves, perfume, slippers, etc) is typical and expected when you're in a new relationship. Now, if you two have been in a relationship for over a year, he should have been able to come up with a thoughftul gift. Even a home-made gift, which would have been sweet, heart-warming, and nice. Did he give similar gifts to other people? It may be his attitutde about gift-giving. I know in some families, people give gifts that are useful rather than desirable. He may also be tight on money. My advice is for you to just suck it up this time. Perhaps he'll take notice of your thoughtful gift and up the ante next time around. Side note: When it was my bf's birthday, we had only been dating for a few months, and I was having intense family problems ON THAT VERY DAY. I didn't do anything aside from spend time with him. I didn't get a cake, make him dinner or buy a gift. He was upset about it, but he understood. I felt bad about it, so I upped the ante next time around. So don't sweat it- this is only a minor issue. You can tell he cares about you in other ways, not from gifts.
Bubbles12 Bubbles12 4 years
Go get a copy of 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' by John Gray. You don't understand men and until you do you're going to be unhappy and disappointed. I agree with Henna's take: his lousy gift does not mean what a similarly lousy gift from you would mean. Don't take it as if he was dissing you, read the book to know how to get him to win with you. Easier than you may believe.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
Telling someone they gave you a crappy gift or even an unsuccessful gift is a shitty thing to do....which I know from having done it myself. I learned that lesson the hard way....critiicizing gifts will always turn around and bite you in the ass. Christmas isn't all about gifts, but it is about family and the people we love, and I do understand how crappy it feels when you spend a lot of time to pick out just the right thing, and that special person doesn't reciprocate. But you know what, this is something that some people just don't do.....not everyone is a thoughtful gift giver. Some people show their love and care in very different ways, with their actions or their taking out the trash or fixing your car when they see the license hanging, by bringing over past and salad when you've been sick and in the hospital....all things that have happened to me this year. Sometimes you can help a significant other learn to focus on the gifting, because it means so much to you, and sometimes you can't. If this guy is someone you love and care about, who has other great qualities that you appreciate, then you may have to get over the gift thing. And if you're anything like me, that crappy, shitty feeling you get after criticizing a gift that someone you love gave you will keep you from ever doing that again. Ever. Things may change a bit, if you marry this fellow....then there are levels of compromise that .... sometimes.....can be reached. Sometimes :) But the only way to avoid that horrible feeling of having put someone down, about a gift, is to never do it again. And to watch out for those expectations....people just don't always return affection in the same way it's given. I suggest you apologize for your criticism, after you've calmed down, and let him know that you love him. He know's that you're disappointed....if you two are together at valentines day, it will be interesting to see if this upset translates into a more thoughtful offering on his part, and a more considered one on yours, no matter what he offers. I'm sorry for your disappointment, and your situation. I hope your holiday gets a little better. merry, merry....take care
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